It’s been a while since I’ve used the computer. I haven’t been able to touch it since last Monday. My mother came to stay at my place a few weeks ago and after a phone call to my father explaining that my gran was in hospital, I decided to drive back with her to my parents 4 hours away, and visit my gran in hospital. I was dreading it. I didn’t know what to expect and I thought I was prepared for the worst but she was far worse than that.
When we arrived at the hospital I had crazy butterflies and already felt shaky like I could cry any minute. I have trouble controlling my emotions and the uncertainty of the situation made me lose all control. All I knew was that I had to say my goodbyes now. We managed to find my Aunt and Uncle with Gran D in the terminal ward. I didn’t even know she was terminal.
Seeing my gran laying there will stay with me forever. I was traumatised. I’ve never experienced someone dying with cancer before and I hope this is the last time I ever do. I walked into the room and broke down as soon as I saw her. She was lying there completely unresponsive. I tried to look into her eyes for some recognition but she stared through me. I couldn’t take it and cried the whole time we were there. My mother was talking to her and brushing her hair but I couldn’t even find the words. Even my father couldn’t speak. I think we both struggled to speak to someone unresponsive. Once the room was empty I was able to speak to my gran and tell her my last goodbyes, tell her how much we all love her and that she still looked beautiful.
If anyone knew my gran, they’d know she was a very stubborn woman who wouldn’t accept help from anyone, she would be the one helping them. She refused a carer. She refused all help from her kids. She was cooking, cleaning and busy until her dying days. I couldn’t stand to see her laying there like that. She didn’t even look the same. Her skin was pale, her face had drooped, her eyes had lost their shine, her hair straight (she always had a perm) and her skinny frame under her flowery nightie made me tear up. It killed me to see her having to rely on others knowing she was hating every second of it.
Once I left the hospital I would cry at any opportunity. I was heartbroken, something I’ve never felt before in relation to dying. I couldn’t and still can’t stop the pictures of her lying there forcing themselves into my mind. I cried a lot that weekend.
I got the call on Halloween…
My gran didn’t want to die in hospital. Sadly she past away two days after I saw her. She died in the early hours of Halloween. My mind and body has been in limbo since. I have found some relief in her passing. We all hated seeing her laying in that bed like a vegetable and we all knew that she absolutely hated it too. I have found some peace knowing she’s not suffering anymore. The thoughts don’t stop of her suffering in hospital, I’m not sure if they ever will but I hope I can learn from this experience.
It’s been over a week now and I still find myself crying a lot but I don’t stop myself. I know I need to mourn and let my body do what it wants. I’m going to say my last goodbye at her chapel of rest next weekend and see her off with grace. It’s going to be a very emotional time but I really want to see her one last time. Christmas will never be the same. I’ll always miss her presence and the little things. We had a bond like no other. She always had time for me and always did an excellent job being a grand and great grandmother. I’ll miss her stern approach with love and I’ll miss her amazing cooking skills. She taught me a lot in life and the lesson that stuck: don’t take life too seriously.
She’ll always be loved deeply and forever stay in our thoughts.